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Compulsive Hoarding | OCD | Progress Report

OCD symptom subtypes

Our group, in conjunction with several colleagues, has recently examined the symptom patterns of OCD symptoms, and has determined the heritability of these symptom profiles.  In a study using over 1200 individuals with a lifetime history of OCD, we identified five primary symptom subtypes: 1) contamination/cleaning symptoms 2) taboo symptoms (aggressive, sexual, and religious symptoms), 3) doubts (fear of harming self or others, compulsive checking), 4) hoarding and perfectionism, and 5) rituals and superstitions (including repeating rituals, doing things till they are “just right”, lucky or unlucky numbers).  these symptom groups are all heritable (about 30% heritability, on average), although not as heritable as the underlying phenomenon of OCD susceptibility itself as measured by  lifetime symptom severity.  This paper is currently published in Behavior Genetics (Katerberg, et al. 2010)